Kampen mot åpne oppdrettsanlegg på Island tiltar
Reykjavik December 28, 2016
Court case initated to repeal Arnarlax salmon farming licences
A court case has been initiated at the Reykjavik District Court to repeal licenses issued earlier this year by MAST (Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority) and UST (The Environmental agency of Iceland) for Arnarlax salmon farm in the Northwest of Iceland. The case is jointly initiated by several parties that will suffer from salmon farming with fertile salmon stock of Norwegian origin in open sea cages on the Icelandic coast. The parties initiating the case include farmers holding interest in several indigenous trout and salmon rivers in Iceland.
The case will be filed in the Reykjavik District Court January 10, 2017.
The case is built on several arguments, such as:
– Incorrect procedures have been followed when issuing the licenses. Study of the maximum allowable biomass in the fjord is missing as well as a certificate from the guardian of the sea, in this case the State of Iceland. The law prescribes both should be available prior to issuing of the disputed licenses.
– Handing over property of the Icelandic state for use by individuals or companies can only be based on valid law according to the constitution. Law allowing for this has not been adopted.
– The salmon farming in open sea cages on the Icelandic coast with fertile Norwegian strain of salmon is in breach of several laws, including Law on the Conservation of Nature and Law on Fish Farming.
– The disputed salmon farming violates the interests of the parties initiating the case relying on fishing from the native salmon and trout stocks.
It is highly likely that farming in open sea cages with fertile Norwegian salmon stock will permanently harm native Icelandic salmon and trout stocks. The situation in Norway confirms this as few rivers in Norway do have healthy stocks unaffected by pollution from fish farms.
Icelandic law prohibits activities likely to cause such harm to the native salmon and trout stocks in the Icelandic rivers. The parties initiating the case maintain that the case revolves around the principal question whether salmon farming by Arnarlax and other parties planning such farming in Iceland can be allowed to ruin the natural stocks in the rivers of Iceland.
The case files include extensive evidence confirming the damage that salmon farming causes to the environment such as by the undisputed escapees from the salmon cages. This evidence includes research papers and emperical evidence from other countries such as Norway where SalMar, the main owner of Arnarlax, happens to originate.
Further details of the case provides:
Jón Steinar Gunnlaugsson, Supreme Court Attorney. Telephone +354 892 2747